UPDATE: Police Close to Catching Purse Thief

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UPDATE (WIFR) -- Rockford police believe they're narrowing in on a suspect, believed to be the man stealing purses off of women's shoulders.

As we said earlier, thieves have been targeting Stateline shoppers as they're coming out of area stores. Police say they stay in their cars, pull up next to women in parking lots, and rip their purses away. We will bring you an update as soon as an arrest is made. Until then ladies, keep your purses close!

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Purses are being snatched right off of women’s bodies and the suspect is not even getting out of the car to do it.
One case happened just this weekend and have happened multiple times this month.

Police told us we had to be more vigilant while shopping, after a ring of pick-pocketers starting targeting women, and now there is more danger in the parking lot. Police say the two crimes aren’t linked but are certainly making many women wary.

It’s a typical crime that’s become more intense in the last few weeks. Police say suspects are pulling up next to women walking in parking lots and ripping purses out of their hands and off their shoulders.

The most recent instance took place over the weekend at the Wal-Mart on West Riverside. Police say the suspects snatched the woman’s purse as they drove past her in the parking lot. The woman says the recent robberies have prompted her to carry a different style handbag.
While some women are changing the style of their purses, police say it’s also best to leave our handbags at home and bring a wallet instead. They also say we should not fight for our items if we’re approached and, as hard as it may be, give the purse to the suspects. Investigators say it’s not worth losing our life.

Late last month, we aired a few stories about wallets being stolen right out of purses. We’ve learned the thieves are still out there. Again, these two crimes are not linked.

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